No. 5 Ohio St opens pandemic-delayed season against Nebraska

Nebraska at No. 5 Ohio State, Saturday at noon ET (FOX).

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Line: Ohio State by 26.

Series record: Ohio State leads 7-1.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

After failing to win enough games for bowl eligibility in coach Scott Frost’s first two seasons, the Cornhuskers - 5-7 in 2019 - still have some significant issues, especially with lack of depth. Ohio State is loaded with weapons and wants to start strong in a coronavirus-delayed season that realistically could result with another trip to the College Football Playoff..

KEY MATCHUP

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields was a Heisman Trophy finalist last season after leading his team to a 13-1 finish and a national semifinal appearance. He’ll face a Nebraska defense with a veteran secondary that will need good pressure from a young defensive line.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Nebraska: QB Adrian Martinez won a competition to keep his job and now is looking to atone for his disappointing performance in last year’s 48-7 loss to Ohio State. Martinez was solid in his 2018 appearance at the Horseshoe, throwing for 266 yards and a touchdown and running for 72 yards and two scores in a 36-31 loss.

Ohio State: WR Chris Olave took a wrong turn in the end zone with the Buckeyes driving in the final minute in last year’s semifinal against Clemson, and Fields' throw resulted in an interception and a 29-23 loss. Olave, a junior, is hungry for redemption. He led the Buckeyes with 849 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns in 2019.

FACTS & FIGURES

Ohio State has outscored Nebraska by an average of 53-19 over the last three meetings. ... WR JD Spielman, the leading pass catcher for the Huskers last year, transferred to Minnesota in the spring. He was among nearly two dozen players who entered the transfer portal after last season. ... Nebraska returns all five starting offensive linemen from 2019. ... The Huskers are opening on the road for only the fourth time in 42 seasons and the first time since 1999, when Nebraska began its Big 12 championship season with a 42-7 win at Iowa. ... Ohio State finished 2019 at No. 3 in the country in scoring offense (46.9 ppg), No. 5 in rushing offense (266.7) and No. 4 in total offense (529.9). ... Ohio State returns nine players who started six or more games last season.

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